4. Approach to data scan and inventory

The focus of the data scan was on finding existing sources of information about capacity, to assess the ability of the existing water and wastewater systems to serve the current and projected population of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Although water quality is important, and problems with water quality may indicate a capacity problem (such as an aging and overburdened system), the focus was mainly on the availability of drinking water and wastewater servicing on a scale that either allows for or precludes growth.

Our focus initially led to the identification of standard compliance reports collected by various levels of government for water and wastewater treatment plants. This system consists of information publicly reported by municipalities and infrastructure operators (such as the Ontario Clean Water Agency), as well as open data sets and databases from the provincial Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and from Environment and Climate Change Canada, largely relating to water quality monitoring. Feedback on early drafts of this report helped us identify other sources of data.